The VA employees about 19,000 doctors and has 152 hospitals. Since 2003, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—that provides services for some 22 million American veterans—has paid out approximately $100 million a year to settle more than 3,000 veterans medical malpractice claims. In 2013 the agency tended to 5.6 million veterans, a 32 percent increase from 2002.
As of mid-2014, the VA has spent more than $50 million on medical malpractice claims, according to an analysis of Treasury Department records. In the ten years after 9/11, the VA paid $200 million to nearly 1,000 families in wrongful death cases.
In recent years the VA has been under scrutiny, namely for preventable veteran deaths, infectious disease outbreaks, VA employee bonuses and mismanagement.
Several VA Inspector General reports determined that a number of VA patient care problems are directly linked to mismanagement within VA facilities and that VA bonus pay has no definitive link to performance. Recently, one executive director received a cash bonus of $63,000, according to VA Accountability Watch.
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